The often unsung heroes (and heroines) of the F-line are the operators. We saw that again last Sunday during the special service Muni put on that day (and this coming Sunday as well) as part of its centennial celebration.
Case in point: Ronna Brown. An 18-year Muni veteran, Ronna has worked the F-line for several years, though currently she’s a yard starter at Green Division, getting LRVs ready for their runs. She was out last Sunday (and will be again this Sunday) to help provide the special service.
She piloted newly-restored PCC No. 1006 easily over the hilly J-Church line (this Sunday, the special streetcars will be on part of the T-Third line from our San Francisco Railway Museum to Third and Cesar Chavez). She dealt in a friendly and informative way with everyone who boarded, from railfans who knew what the streetcar was there for to regular J-line riders who were scratching their heads.
“Born and raised in San Francisco, I feel like there’s nothing you could ask me that I won’t know,” Ronna says. “I’m happy to help people who aren’t from here, the locals, I love giving information.”
Ronna has driven buses and LRVs as well as streetcars. She says the F-line is where she feels most at home.
“Working for Muni, driving the F-line has really made me love my job,” she added.
“You get your community people, you get your tourists, you get a bit of everything. It’s always interesting.”
The F-line is probably more demanding on operators than almost any other Muni line, because of the non-stop questions, some riders unfamiliar with the system, local riders impatient with the tourists, the overall crowding of the line day and night, and of course the traffic. That’s why it’s a pleasure to see operators with positive attitudes like Ronna’s — and there are many on the F-line.
Yes, we know that just like on other Muni lines, there are also F-line operators who always seem to be dishing the attitude, and we hope seeing other operators’ positive attitudes will have a rub-off effect.
Anyway, if you see Ronna on No. 1006 again Sunday, take a moment to say hi. Same for all the operators on the vintage streetcars, buses, and cable car on Sunday. By and large, they’re out there on that day because they really love the equipment…and enjoy sharing it with riders too.